Google tests lists, CDPs unify: Wednesday’s daily brief

Plus, picking the right podcast

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Good morning, Marketers, lately we’ve been thinking a lot about how to tell a story with data.

At Martech Today, I’m always trying to sniff out a good story. And the best stories come out of data and are supported by it. Numbers get the ball rolling, and soon we arrive at insights, change and, eventually, transformation. To take that first step, though, the story has to be relevant and empathetic

With all the advances in technology that help us gather and manage data, the importance of effective language can be lost. Below, Red Hat’s data architect Joel Eaton reminds us that language remains at the center of a first-rate marketing strategy. With technology’s help, in the form of a CDP, effective language can help usher vital customer data through different systems and domains at all levels of the funnel. A CDP doesn’t remove boundaries entirely, but instead reminds the members of marketing and sales teams that they are working toward common goals. But at the heart of these goals, and the key to marketing success, is the customer.

Chris Wood,


CDPs unify teams and protect your data investment  

More organizations have been implementing CDPs over the last year, and these platforms can help bridge the gap between marketing and sales, especially in the B2B realm, where contacts and customer data can get messier and more drawn out than with their B2C counterparts.

Joel Eaton, data architect with open source enterprise software vendor Red Hat, took some time at MarTech to map out CDP technology and show how it can facilitate communication and data sharing between marketing and sales teams.

According to Eaton, CDPs create a new paradigm for sending data down the marketing funnel. To leverage this opportunity, members of sales and marketing teams should follow some guidelines about how to define their data.

  1. Define your data in terms of the boundary. Leads that pass from marketing to sales should include data that is relevant to sales. What data is sales looking for?
  2. Enforce the same data definitions upstream. When marketing acquires contact data from ads, homepages, social media platforms and other sources, it should define the data clearly across all domains.
  3. Call the data what it is. Each field of data should describe precisely what the data is, without leaving anything out. For instance, the field for a phone number should be defined leaving no mystery. It isn’t just a number, it’s a “mobile phone number with country code.”
  4. Use clear definitions to help with privacy compliance. A field ambiguously called “status” could be misinterpreted in sales or marketing domains. Instead, data tied to a particular customer in a CDP should leave no question if the individual has opted out or has given consent to further data sharing.

If you can’t control the flow of your data, you lose your investment. “CDPs are great for wrangling customer data at the top of the funnel,” said Eaton. “But in order to see a return on our marketing investment, it is important to know and control exactly which data flows downstream into other contexts.”

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Google tests lists on YouTube

Google is testing a new feature that automatically detects products in videos and displays them, and related products, to viewers as a list, the company posted on its YouTube tests and experiments page yesterday. Occasionally, YouTube will test new tools and features with a small group of people for a limited time. These are known as YouTube feature experiments, but they’re also sometimes called “betas,” or simply “experiments.”

“We are experimenting with a new feature that displays a list of products detected in some videos, as well as related products,” Google said in its announcement. The product list will appear below the video player, in between the recommended videos, and the experiment is only visible to users in the U.S.

Why we care. The experiment description is scant, but it’s safe to assume the product list will contain links that may enable YouTube viewers to continue their research or navigate directly to a product page where they can purchase the item. Presumably, these lists would appear on both the manufacturer’s videos as well as videos about that product from other content creators. This may help usher viewers along their customer journey.

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Picking the right podcast   

If marketers are looking for a sign that podcasts have grown up, consider the case of Podsights. They provide attribution, cross-platform reporting and competitive insights for podcast advertisers and publishers. Yesterday they announced a $4 million Seed+ round of funding. Earlier this month, they launched Podsights for Publishers, a set of integrations following their acquisition of podcast link-sharing platform

We asked Podsights CEO and founder Sean Creeley about this maturing channel, and he had this to say: “Podcast advertising is now measurable. When stacking podcast advertising next to digital, TV or social, marketers traditionally lacked vital metrics to improve their campaigns. Between attribution, the innovations in ad servers, and podcasting’s growing reach, large advertisers are increasing their commitments to the medium.”

Why we care. There are still many U.S. consumers who don’t listen to podcasts regularly. According to Podsights, 63% of the U.S. population hasn’t heard a podcast in the last month. There could still be more growth to come before we reach “peak podcast.” In the meantime, Creeley suggests marketers suspend their personal tastes when selecting the best podcasts for their brand. They now have the data to validate a podcast’s effectiveness in fueling a campaign.

Keeping up with your fellow CMOs   

Competitive intelligence platform BrandTotal released results from a survey of 550 marketers conducted last month. Not surprisingly, one conclusion that could be drawn from this data is that brands need to do more competitive analysis. But what are the specific insights marketers look to gain from studying the competition?

A full quarter of respondents wanted insights on the ad creative their competition was serving up. This was the top response. Coming in second were insights on price or quantity-specific promotions. That insight was named by 23% of respondents. Here were the other top responses:

  • Insights on media spend flighting information (19%)
  • Insights on which consumer demographic the competitor is targeting (19%)
  • Insights on consumer behavior, sentiment, engagement (beyond CTR/CPM) (18%)

Why we care. Another part of the survey asked marketers to rank what current tools they used in research and execution of campaigns. The surprise here was that there were no clear winners. What other tools in the toolkit are marketers looking for to get a leg up on their competition? Take a look at the following list, all ranked from 3.3 to 3.8 (on a scale of 1-6):

  • Insights on campaign flighting and timing of launching promotions (3.8);
  • Real-time visibility into category competitors (3.7);
  • Ability to optimize media budget by having visibility into competitive ads combined with consumer engagement and real-time response (contextual intelligence) (3.5);
  • Ability to better target customer audiences and outsmart your competition (3.4);
  • Ability to shift advertising and media spend (3.3); and
  • Ability to adapt messaging and positioning (3.3).

What are they missing? Email me at [email protected] and I will update you all next week.

OneTrust to acquire ethics and compliance provider Convercent

OneTrust, the enterprise trust operationalization platform, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire ethics and compliance cloud software provider Convercent.

OneTrust helps Fortune 500 clients operationalize trust through a platform embracing advanced ethics and compliance solutions. It supports the creation of centralized, agile workflows across privacy, security, data governance, ethics and compliance.

Convercent’s Ethics Cloud Platform is used by brands to manage advanced ethics programs. Clients include Airbnb, Under Armour, Kimberly-Clark, and TimeWarner.

Why we care. With customers looking to build long-term, values-based relationships with brands, rather than just engaging transactionally, it should be no surprise that trust and transparency are now emerging as a software category.

Quote of the day

“To stay top of mind and maintain a competitive advantage, marketers must rely only on technological solutions that provide value to their clients. I think our job as marketers is to understand how these technologies can create a seamless user experience and improve client experience.” Jacqueline Madarang, Associate Director of Marketing Technology, Blank Rome LLP

About the author

Chris Wood
Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country's first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on "innovation theater" at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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